Of the many things the main island of Hawaii has to offer, there’s also a high-end recovery resort offering a luxurious healing experience on the tropical shores of the Pacific. Founded by two people who’ve been in the recovery business for 25 years, The Exclusive Hawaii has been offering a 12-step alternative to treatment for the elite since 2011.
Accommodations and Food
First and foremost, The Exclusive Hawaii is a completely secluded 10,000-square-foot, 16-acre property. A tropical countryside surrounds this estate—grazing horses and island sunsets are just the epidermal layer of this sober sabbatical.
Inside the home, residents walk into a wide-windowed living room with hand-carved coffee tables adjoining three couches staged to encompass a stone fireplace. Continue through the house to find the lagoon style underground pool and surrounding patio out back. A maximum of eight guests have the privilege of staying in spacious, private indigenous-flower-named bedrooms with king- or queen-sized sleepers and en-suite bathrooms. There are three private rooms and two shared rooms.
A private chef prepares a myriad of gluten-free, dairy-free and mostly sugar-free foods. The ingredients are all non-GMO, and this diet avoids bad fats & oils—it’s all very wholesome. Additionally, The Exclusive Hawaii customizes diets for residents who may have specific needs—e.g., those who have celiac disease, vegans and the like. Organic local fresh ground coffee is served and although the diet is focused on clean, fresh, whole foods, The Exclusive Hawaii doesn’t practice any “food dogma.” In other words, specific food requests can be accommodated.
Treatment and Staff
Unlike other facilities, rather than a traditional 12-step approach, The Exclusive Hawaii’s initial 30-day treatment is called Experiential Engagement Therapy (experiential therapy). This has been compared to riding a bicycle. While riding can be explained theoretically, it’s not until you actually get on the bike and lose balance that you actually start learning to ride. CBR (Core Belief Restructuring) is the methodology here. Additionally, the staff uses the Socratic method to teach residents how to have a dialogue with their own minds. Clients learn not to be hijacked by their own thoughts. While this program is not 12-step in nature, if a client wants to supplement what’s offered here with meetings and steps and a sponsor, he or she will be supported in that venture as well by The Hawaii Exclusive staff.
Comprised of highly credentialed professionals and peer counselors (mostly women), the 22 staff members and 12 contractors ensure clients get the best out of this recovery resort. During the evening periods, techs are there to administer any over-night assistance.
Group therapy and individual sessions occur throughout the day Monday through Saturday and if clients wish, they have the choice to do a 60- and/or 90-day program. More, this facility does have CBT, as well as EMDR for trauma, psychodrama and psychodynamic processing.The medical director is on site frequently throughout the week and oversees numerous medical professionals. Detox is dependent on the medical director’s assessment; Exclusive Hawaii’s nurses supervise said detox if necessary. Dual diagnosis support is also offered for those suffering from secondary issues; anxiety, depression, bi-polar.
This facility also offers a range of intensive family programs. Usually mainland family members visit the site for a few days to engage in addiction education and family counseling. Therapeutic visits from those who support client are welcome; in most cases, this means customized couples or family sessions are scheduled in person and via Skype with a therapist.
The daily schedule involves breakfast followed by Core Integration Fitness, hikes, volleyball, and other exercise options that fit the interests and abilities of each client. Four times throughout the day, clients and staff participate in conscious breathing exercises for relaxation and self-regulation. Dinner is at 5:45 pm, evening educational class is 7-8 pm and acupuncture and cranial sacral therapy are after the evening class. After this is quiet time and ultimately, sleep.
Amid this unique, holistic treatment, homeopathic techniques include massage therapy, acupuncture, laughter therapy, art therapy, therapeutic hikes with counselors and more. Residents get to partake in extra-curricular outings—visiting botanical gardens, snorkeling, swimming with wild dolphins, horse-back riding, ATV riding, zip lining, paddle boarding, body boarding, surfing, kayaking, fishing, visiting waterfalls—it’s Hawaii—or folks can just bring a sack lunch and kick back on the beach.
The Exclusive Hawaii is aptly named—this is experiential therapy at its most exclusive. With all the amenities and activities offered, it would be impossible not to realize how much fun living sober can be—with a price point to match. The trick is taking all of this and applying it at home.
The Exclusive Hawaii Location
Address can be made available to potential clients.
The Exclusive Hawaii Cost
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Photos courtesy of The Exclusive Hawaii; used with permission